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Grant program: Public Scholars
Date range: 2019-2022

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12
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 91 items in 2 pages
Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
12
Page size:
 91 items in 2 pages
FZ-266572-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsElizabeth FennSacagawea's World: Window on the American West1/1/2020 - 12/31/2020$60,000.00Elizabeth Fenn   Regents of the University of Colorado, BoulderBoulderCO80303-1058USA2019U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a history of Native Americans in the Northern Plains and Rockies in the first half of the nineteenth century, structured around the life of Sacagawea, guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Sacagawea’s World uses the signal events and contested dimensions of one Native American woman’s life to convey a new, accessible narrative of the Northern Plains, Northern Rockies, and Pacific Northwest to 1850. Sacagawea provided essential guidance to Lewis and Clark on their 1804–1806 trans-continental journey. But her life also illuminates a world in upheaval as Indigenous peoples engaged with global commerce, new modes of warfare, altered hunting patterns, environmental change, and ever-shifting power dynamics. How puzzling it is that despite Sacagawea’s renown, we know so little about the ways she and those around her experienced and engaged the world. I use a wide array of source material, including archaeology, rock art, landscape, oral accounts, legends, ethnographies, manuscripts, and a plethora of existing scholarship to bring this new narrative to life.

FZ-266632-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsSteve KemperTokyo Mission: Ambassador Joseph C. Grew and the View from the U.S. Embassy in Japan, 1932-19429/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$60,000.00Steve Kemper    West HartfordCT06107-3334USA2019U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to the publication of a book about Joseph. C. Grew, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Japan from 1932 to 1942, and the events preceding Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

A book that focuses on the lead-up to the war with Japan from the perspective of the American who knew that country best at that time—Joseph C. Grew, the United States ambassador there from 1932 to 1942.

FZ-266641-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsElizabeth D. SametThe Nine Lives of Alexander the Great9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$60,000.00ElizabethD.Samet   United States Military AcademyWest PointNY10996USA2019Literature, GeneralPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), as he has been interpreted in history and literature from antiquity to the present.

The Nine Lives of Alexander explores the many-sided myth of the man known as Alexander the Great. It departs from traditional representations of Alexander’s life as a tragic arc of derailed greatness to examine the condition of unceasing war to which he committed the known world. Whether biographies cast him as a philosopher-king or a monstrous destroyer, most turn on the question of greatness and measure his career against some idealized template of success. I attempt to subvert this narrative by tracing not that career but the versions of Alexander that materialize in unpredictable places within a range of cultures, contexts, and periods. Today, when the condition of war-without-end has become the norm, a deep antecedent can be found in Alexander’s vision.

FZ-266824-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsLaura Teresa MurphyFreedomville: The Story of a 21st-Century Labor Revolt in India9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$60,000.00LauraTeresaMurphy   Loyola University, New OrleansNew OrleansLA70118-6143USA2019South Asian StudiesPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to publication of a book documenting the after-effects of a 2002 labor revolt in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Freedomville tells the story of how a small group of impoverished, malnourished, and transgenerationally-enslaved men and women fought to liberate themselves from their overseers, wrest control of the rock quarry in which they worked, and become masters of their own fates. A closer look at Freedomville, however, also reveals that grassroots freedom struggles, compelling as they may be, are often haunted by the unsustainability of freedom in the current economy. Activists fight to maintain their grasp on freedom after liberation without the literal and figurative tools or the elite connections necessary to run their own businesses, develop their towns, and improve the opportunities available to their children. Employing in-depth interviews the people of Freedomville over the course of fourteen years, this book zooms in on the way local organizing efforts address the deep economic and cultural structures that make slavery possible.

FZ-266853-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsElise Anne FriedlandClassical Washington: Greece and Rome in the Art and Architecture of DC9/1/2020 - 6/30/2021$50,000.00EliseAnneFriedland   George Washington UniversityWashingtonDC20052-0001USA2019Art History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs500000500000

Research and writing leading to a book explaining the influence of classical Greek and Roman art and architecture on the urban plan, government buildings, and public art of Washington, D.C.

Architecturally and artistically, Washington, D.C. is a city like no other in the United States: an enormous, elongated dome dominates its skyline; a massive Doric temple, housing a colossal, seated “cult” statue of a former president, flanks its central greenspace; equestrian statues of military leaders inhabit many of its circular plazas. This book, Classical Washington, will immerse readers in a chronological survey of the development of the urban plan, governmental halls, and public art of 19th- and early 20th-century D.C. It will reveal the Greek and Roman models that our early nation’s architects and artists adopted and adapted, the sources via which those classical models crossed the Atlantic to the U.S., and the historical, political, and visual motives that resulted in the classical cityscape we inhabit today. At its core, the volume will address the role of public art and architecture in establishing the foundational legends, early history, and international stature of our nation.

FZ-266854-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsLeigh Ann WheelerA Biography of American Author and Civil Rights Activist Anne Moody (1940-2015)9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$60,000.00LeighAnnWheeler   SUNY Research Foundation, BinghamtonBinghamtonNY13902-4400USA2019Women's HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a biography of Anne Moody (1940-2015), author of the Civil Rights Era memoir Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968).

This project will produce the first biography of Anne Moody, author of the most influential and beloved memoir of the Civil Rights Movement, Coming of Age in Mississippi (1968). All who read it wonder: What happened after Anne left Mississippi? My biography will unearth Anne’s family history, document and expand on her experiences as a child and civil rights activist, follow her to New York, Europe, and around the U.S., and return with her to Mississippi, where she died at 75 in 2015. In her 20s, Anne began to show signs of mental illness. She and her son survived on book royalties; sometimes they were homeless; sometimes Anne was institutionalized. My biography will assure that Anne gains her rightful place in American history and letters. It will also contribute to the urgent project of upending triumphalist narratives of the Civil Rights Movement, redrawing the arc of civil rights history, and forcing us to reconsider the costs exacted by racism and borne by those who resist it.

FZ-266866-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsMarsha GordonLeftover Ladies: American Writer Ursula Parrott (1900-1957) and the Emergence of the Modern Woman5/1/2020 - 4/30/2021$60,000.00Marsha Gordon   North Carolina State UniversityRaleighNC27695-0001USA2019Women's HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000555000

Writing of a book-length narrative on the life and works of the best-selling American author Ursula Parrott (1899-1957).

Leftover Ladies will utilize the forgotten life and writings of Ursula Parrott (1899-1957) as a jumping off point to explore the emergence of the idea of the modern working woman in 20th-century America. Famous during her lifetime, Parrott spent her career depicting divorcees, working women, and single mothers in fiction, nonfiction, interviews, and screenplays, drawing frankly from her own complicated marital life. Part biography, part pop cultural, legal, and economic history, Leftover Ladies is a long overdue, historically relevant, and timely study built around historical records—especially movies and popular magazines—and conveyed in an accessible, readable fashion. In the process of sharing the story of Parrott’s unusual life, the book will explore an understudied part of American cultural history regarding the legal and cultural status of divorce and its social and personal consequences involving women in the workplace during the first part of the 20th century.

FZ-266872-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsErica WestlyThe History and Culture of Drowning in America9/1/2019 - 4/30/2020$40,000.00Erica Westly    ChicagoIL60622-3016USA2019U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs400000400000

Research and writing leading to the publication of a book on the cultural history of drowning in the United States.

A general nonfiction book that uses modern-day and historical narratives, discussions of public health data, and literary analyses to illustrate how Americans drown and why. Accidental drownings are a significant public health problem in the U.S., killing nearly 4,000 Americans each year, most of them young. Drownings are also an old public health problem, with known solutions. Yet they are often misunderstood and overlooked.

FZ-266874-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsJane E. CalvertA Biography of John Dickinson (1732-1808)9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00JaneE.Calvert   University of KentuckyLexingtonKY40506-0001USA2019U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a biography of the American statesman John Dickinson (1732-1808), known as the "Penman of the Revolution"

This will be the first full biography of founder John Dickinson, America's first international political celebrity and leader of the resistance to Britain. He wrote more documents for the Founding of the nation than any other figure and held more public offices in two states. With his belief in Quaker principles, he was also unique among the leaders of the generation in his advocacy of human rights. He freed all of his significant number of slaves during his lifetime, worked for abolition, and advocated rights for women, Native Americans, prisoners, the poor, and other subordinated peoples. Because his papers have not been published, no complete and accurate biography has been written But now his papers are being published and the first three volumes (to 1769) are near completion. This new biography, readable for the public and useful for scholars, will be based on this new wealth of never-before-used sources.

FZ-266880-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsJennifer VanderbesTHE GATEKEEPER: Dr. Frances Kelsey and the Unlikely Heroes Who Foiled the Greatest Pharmaceutical Scandal of the 20th Century9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$60,000.00Jennifer Vanderbes    New YorkNY10022-5172USA2019History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and MedicinePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

 Research and writing leading to a nonfiction book on the 1960s scandal surrounding the German-made sedative thalidomide, which has been linked to birth defects in some 10,000 babies worldwide.

I am writing a book (THE GATEKEEPER, under contract with Random House) about the thalidomide scandal of the 1960s, focusing on three American doctors, all women, who fought to keep the drug off the American market. The book is based on FDA documents, court records, various personal archives, and the first-ever interviews with American thalidomide survivors. Thalidomide was a German-made sedative that afflicted over 10,000 babies worldwide with a birth defect known as phocomelia--"seal limbs"--marking the largest drug catastrophe of the 20th century. My book will tell a high-stakes story with a ticking clock, filled with a variety of compelling personalities. A novelist by training, I intend to draw general readers into a narratively-rich world of doctor-heroes, interwoven with the history of pharmaceuticals, advertising, and the Food and Drug Administration.

FZ-266889-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsRosemarie Garland-ThomsonHow To Be Disabled: Shaping the Future for Everyone9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00Rosemarie Garland-Thomson   Emory UniversityAtlantaGA30322-1018USA2019EthicsPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a book on living with disability, drawing on concepts from the Western humanistic tradition such as freedom, dignity, liberation, and knowledge.

"How To Be Disabled" approaches the challenges and opportunities of living well and effectively with disabilities by summoning concepts from the Western humanistic tradition to address profound and complex questions we face about what it means to be human and how we live together. By explicating the recognizable and familiar concepts of freedom, vitality, dignity, kinship, liberation, being, and knowledge that guide our shared moral compasses in modern democratic societies, the book helps people understand how these underlying humanistic principles shape our participation in individual and communal decision making, liberal citizenship, healthcare ethics, and biomedical questions and practices.

FZ-266901-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsTheresa RunstedtlerBlack Ball: Rethinking the "Dark Ages" of Professional Basketball12/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$45,000.00Theresa Runstedtler   American UniversityWashingtonDC20016-8200USA2019African American StudiesPublic ScholarsResearch Programs450000450000

Research and writing leading to a book for a popular audience on the history of race, labor, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the 1970s.

Playing on the multiple meanings of the expression “Black Ball,” my book recasts the history of the NBA’s “Dark Ages.” According to popular wisdom, the league’s waning profitability and popularity in the seventies was the fault of a new generation of immature, selfish, lazy, and greedy Black players who came to dominate the professional ranks. Only after white league executives and team owners regained control did the NBA rebound in the 1980s. However, the actual history is much more complicated. It is also more revealing about the ongoing significance of anti-Black racism in U.S. sport and society in the post-Civil Rights era. Combining narrative history and cultural analysis, Black Ball argues that the misnamed “Dark Ages” were pivotal years in the rise of the NBA as a profitable powerhouse, thanks largely to the efforts of Black players in fighting for greater compensation and control over their labor and in reshaping the game with aesthetics and ethics of urban Black streetball.

FZ-266906-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsAlison Grace MacorThe Best Years of Our Lives: The Forgotten Film that United a Postwar Nation9/1/2019 - 2/29/2020$30,000.00AlisonGraceMacor    AustinTX78703-2336USA2019Film History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs300000300000

Research and writing leading to a book about the making of the film The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), veterans, and post-World War II American culture.

Decades before one in five veterans was being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a double amputee and two Hollywood idols starred in a 1946 blockbuster that boldly addressed the country’s “veterans problem.” William Wyler’s "The Best Years of Our Lives" broke new ground with its stark visuals and provocative story about three servicemen who struggle to return to their civilian lives, yet the film is only dimly remembered today. This narrative history examines "Best Years’" tumultuous journey from script to screen against the backdrop of a nation struggling to deal with its walking wounded. My project seeks to go beyond textual analysis to explore the making of this landmark film as a means to expand existing cinema studies scholarship. The Best Years of Our Lives: The Forgotten Film that United a Postwar Nation also examines how this Academy Award-winning film changed the national conversation about PTSD and how it can still influence the public discussion today.

FZ-266940-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsHolly BrubachThe Life of Ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929-2000), Wife of George Balanchine and Mid-Century Muse to New York Artists, Writers and Intellectuals9/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$60,000.00Holly Brubach    PittsburghPA15222-5610USA2019Dance History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a biography of the American ballerina Tanaquil Le Clerc (1929-2000).

Research and writing leading to publication of TANAQUIL, the first biography of Tanaquil Le Clercq, whose charismatic beauty, attenuated legs, and bold attack presented George Balanchine with new movement possibilities, grafting European sophistication onto the scale, speed, and exuberance he loved in his adopted country. Like many women, she was the product of her mother's thwarted ambition. She served as inspiration for nearly every major choreographer of the time. Jerome Robbins was in love with her; she married Balanchine. At the century's midpoint, she became the 'It' girl for a group of writers and artists transforming the cultural landscape. In 1956, Le Clercq contracted polio on the New York City Ballet's tour of Europe. Confined to a wheelchair, she made a new life for herself. Though her position in history is secure, her story has never been told. TANAQUIL will portray her contribution in detail and introduce this remarkable woman to a broad audience of general readers.

FZ-266948-19Research Programs: Public ScholarsPeter ManseauA History of the Massachusetts Almshouse Scandal, 1854-18849/1/2019 - 8/31/2020$30,000.00Peter Manseau    AnnapolisMD21409-6133USA2019American StudiesPublic ScholarsResearch Programs300000300000

Writing leading to the publication of a book about the Tewksbury Massachusetts Almshouse Scandal, 1854-1884.

This book project tells the story of a state-run almshouse in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, which was founded for ostensibly charitable purposes in the middle of the nineteenth century, but soon became a symbol of public corruption, dark ambition, and good intentions gone disastrously awry. In this largely forgotten history, events that first became known as a local scandal of institutional mismanagement unexpectedly took on national significance, with lurid allegations of abuse by almshouse administrators finding their way into the U.S. presidential election of 1884. This book uses a sensational story as a vehicle for a broader examination of the intersecting histories of immigration, politics, and mental health care reform as they influenced American culture during the singularly fraught period of the 1850s to the 1880s.

FZ-271119-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsSara Bergen Franklin, PhDThe Taste Maker: The Life and Work of Judith Jones, the 20th-Century Editor Who Changed the Way America Cooked, Ate, and Read9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00SaraBergenFranklin   New York UniversityNew YorkNY10012-1019USA2020Women's HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a biography of American cookbook and literary editor Judith Jones (1924–2017).

Judith Jones (1924 – 2017) is best known for “rescuing” Anne Frank’s diary from the Doubleday slush pile in postwar Paris, and her “discovery” of Julia Child in the late 1950s. But little else is known about Jones, who spend more than 50 years as senior editor at Knopf. The first woman editor hired to the firm, she spent decades nurturing such luminaries as novelists Anne Tyler and John Updike, and poets including Sharon Olds. She is also the progenitor of modern American food culture and media, responsible for redefining and elevating the cookbook form. In my book, Taste Maker (under contract with Signal Press), I present a narrative biography—the first on Jones (based, in part, on extensive oral history interviews I conducted with Jones in 2013, as well as on exclusive access to her personal archive)—examining her extraordinary life, and in so doing, parsing the role of women in American publishing, the under-documented role of editors in literature, and the “quiet power of cookbooks.”

FZ-271344-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsChristopher M. BellittoHumility: The Secret History of a Lost Virtue6/1/2021 - 12/31/2021$35,000.00ChristopherM.Bellitto   Kean UniversityUnionNJ07083-7133USA2020Intellectual HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs350000325000

Research and writing of a book on the idea of humility in world literature, religion, philosophy, mythology, and theater. 

My goal is to write an accessible history of humility to get a wide conversation going about how to recover a healthy sense of this virtue for our divided society. Research for this interdisciplinary project is complete due to two internal release-time grants at my institution. Primary and secondary texts included humility in ancient world literature; Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scriptures and sermons; eastern and western ethics and philosophy; mythology and theatre (Greeks through medieval morality plays); and Enlightenment and contemporary discussions on education in virtue and citizenship. I tracked how the virtue of humility came to be denigrated as the vice of humiliation. That misconception has often led to the dangers of hybris, arrogance, and narcissism, especially among decision makers in civic society, which dovetails with the NEH initiative, “A More Perfect Union.” Exploring the history of humility just might prove to be our path back to civility in public discourse.

FZ-271363-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsMartha A. SandweissOne 1868 Photograph and a Sprawling History of the American West6/1/2021 - 5/31/2022$50,000.00MarthaA.Sandweiss   Princeton UniversityPrincetonNJ08540-5228USA2020U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs500000500000

Research and writing of a book exploring the lives of the government officials and young Lakota child who appear in Alexander Gardner’s famous photo of the treaty signing at Ft. Laramie in 1868.

Focusing on a single photograph by Alexander Gardner, made during the peace treaty negotiations at Ft. Laramie in 1868, this book follows 8 figures into and out of the picture frame where, for a brief moment, their stories collide. The personal lives of a slave-holding Union general, an immigrant photographer, and a Lakota child, lead us to a newly complicated story about the U. S. West in the 19th century, as people across the continent faced similar challenges shaped by violence, slavery, and shifting ideas about American citizenship.

FZ-271902-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsMatthew DelmontHalf American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00Matthew Delmont   Dartmouth CollegeHanoverNH03755-1808USA2020African American HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000540000

Writing a history of the African American experience during the World War II era (1935-1948).

This book, under contract with Viking, aims to tell the definitive history of World War II from the African American perspective. For black Americans, the war was about not only America’s standing in the world but also about how much actual freedom would exist in the United States. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge. They fought bravely in combat, and they formed the backbone of the United States military’s supply effort, enabling the Allies to fight and win a global war. They did all of this while fighting in a segregated military. Black veterans returned from the war and kept fighting white supremacy at home, fueling the civil rights movement. This history is important because more than seventy years later the questions the war raised regarding race and democracy remain unanswered. This book tells this inspiring and troubling story of bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism.

FZ-271916-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsGary KristThe 1871 Murder Trial of Laura D. Fair and the End of Frontier-Era San Francisco9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00Gary Krist    Jersey CityNJ07310-2036USA2020U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a book on the sensational murder trial of Laura D. Fair (1837-1919) and its impact on the city of San Francisco.   

The 1871 trial of Laura D. Fair for the murder of her longtime adulterous lover, A.P. Crittenden, was one of the most notorious and controversial court cases in American history. Centering on all-important social issues like the sanctity of the family, the significance of reputation, and the range of acceptable expressions of gender, the trial challenged long-held beliefs of an American populace still searching for moral consensus after the shattering divisiveness of civil war. And although the spectacle of the trial dominated front pages nationwide, its outcome was of critical importance to the city in which the drama played out—San Francisco, a still-adolescent metropolis in the 1870s, eager to shed its Gold Rush-era reputation as a raucous and untamed frontier town. My book will recount this story of surprisingly modern cultural conflicts and explore what it meant—both for a nation still scarred by war and for the rapidly growing city that hoped to take its rightful place in it.

FZ-271922-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsRandall J. Fuller, PhDBright Circle: Five Remarkable Women in the Age of Transcendentalism9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00RandallJ.Fuller   University of Kansas, LawrenceLawrenceKS66045-7505USA2020American LiteraturePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

A group biography of five female members of the American transcendentalist movement: Mary Moody Emerson (1774-1863), Elizabeth Palmer Peabody (1804-94), Sophia Hawthorne (1809-71), Lidian Jackson Emerson (1802-92), and Margaret Fuller (1810-50).

This will be the first full-length group biography of women transcendentalists. Recounting the lives and intellectual work of five compelling personalities--Mary Moody Emerson, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, Sophia Hawthorne, Lidian Jackson Emerson, and Margaret Fuller--"Bright Circle" will be written for a broad audience of American literature and history buffs as well as for those interested in women who played a vital role in shaping our national culture. By tracing the biography of each woman, the book shows their connections to one another and how each explored the possibilities of feminine intellectual life. Unpublished letters and journals are used to reveal how these five women contributed to the first important literary and philosophical movement in the nation and, in the process, inaugurated a distinctively American form of feminism.

FZ-272046-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsAdam PlunkettLove and Need: A Biographical Essay on the Life and Work of American Poet Robert Frost (1874-1963)9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00Adam Plunkett    BrooklynNY11238-4002USA2020American LiteraturePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Writing resulting in a critical biography of American poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).  

'Love and Need: A Biographical Essay on the Life and Work of Robert Frost' will be a book of biography and criticism, a story and an essay. My goal is at once to introduce Frost to readers unfamiliar with him and to contribute original ideas and research to our collective understanding of him. Specialist readers of the book will be able to note its divergences from prior biography and criticism, and readers approaching Frost for the first time will encounter a different poet and person from the one they would otherwise find. 'Love and Need' will be half biography and half criticism, with the revisionist biographical sections of the book setting the scene for a novel interpretation of Frost's achievement as a poet--one that shows it to be at once subtler and more accessible, more original and more indebted to tradition, more intimate and more revealing than scholars and critics have shown.

FZ-272052-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsMichael SatlowSeeking the Gods: The Spiritual Landscape of Late Antiquity9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00Michael Satlow   Brown UniversityProvidenceRI02912-9100USA2020History of ReligionPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Writing a history of popular religious practice among Jews, Christians, and pagans in the eastern Mediterranean during Late Antiquity (c. 300-700 CE).

This book will bring to life the “spiritual landscape” of Late Antiquity shared by Jews, Christians, and "pagans" alike. While the elites of these emerging traditions were fighting about boundaries (and excoriating those who dared to cross them), most people in the eastern Mediterranean between the third and seventh centuries CE largely lived in the same conceptual world. This was a world, or landscape, with shared assumptions about the role that divine beings played in their lives and the practices and techniques that could be used to get these beings to help, even if these practices often had distinctive, superficial, markings of religious or ethnic identity. I will focus on the lived religion, the quotidian interactions between ordinary beings and supernatural agents, that was a pervasive and embedded part of everyone's life. Written in an accessible style, the argument is deeply relevant to our own modern attempt to see how religion can play an important and constructive role.

FZ-272055-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsAnne Boyd RiouxKay Boyle's War: An American Witness to Europe’s Darkest Hours, 1933-19537/1/2021 - 6/30/2022$60,000.00AnneBoydRioux   University of New OrleansNew OrleansLA70148-0001USA2020American LiteraturePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Writing of a biography of Kay Boyle (1902-1992), American intellectual and novelist.

The American writer Kay Boyle was one of the twentieth century’s most important observers of European fascism. Unfortunately, her life and work have been nearly lost to us. Her novels and short stories written for the New Yorker, Harper's, and others, two of which won the O. Henry Award for the best story of the year, take us beyond objective history and into the experiences of those who were its victims. Only two book-length studies of her life and work have been published, in 1986 and 1994. Both are out of print and neither had the benefit of important archives now available, nor the sense of urgency that demands a reevaluation of Boyle’s crusade against fascism. The book I plan to write for a general audience will tell the story of fascism’s impact on her life and recognize her considerable contributions to anti-fascist literature, international modernism, and conversations about the role of literature in social and political life.

FZ-272061-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsRenata Nicole KellerNuclear Reactions: The Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War in Latin America9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022$60,000.00RenataNicoleKeller   University of Nevada, RenoRenoNV89557-0001USA2020Latin American HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Writing of a history of the Cuban Missile Crisis from Latin American perspectives.

Nuclear Reactions is a hemispheric history of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It argues that this event was critical to shaping Latin American history and that, in turn, Latin America was critical to the global history of the crisis. Faced with the threat of nuclear war, Latin American politicians, military officers, and citizens seized active roles in the crisis, and their reactions had important results. Few histories of the missile crisis look beyond the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba, and no histories of Latin America analyze the wider impact of the crisis. This project draws on archival sources from across the Americas, the records of international organizations like the United Nations and the Organization of American States, and the cultural productions of diverse Latin Americans to determine the impact of the Cuban Missile Crisis on Latin America and uncover the ways that Latin American governments and individuals shaped the outcome of the crisis.

FZ-272064-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsMichelle Tien KingChop Fry Watch Learn: Fu Pei-mei and the Making of Modern Chinese Food1/1/2021 - 12/31/2021$60,000.00MichelleTienKing   University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillNC27599-1350USA2020East Asian HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000575000

Research and writing for a cultural and social history of postwar Taiwan, told through the life of the cookbook author and television personality Fu Pei-mei (1931-2004).

Chop Fry Watch Learn is a cultural and social history of postwar Taiwan, told through the life and career of Fu Pei-mei (1931-2004), cookbook author and television personality, often called the “Julia Child of Chinese Cooking.” Fu authored dozens of cookbooks and appeared as an instructor on television for four decades, beginning in 1962. Women in her generation, which included both housewives and career women, turned to Fu because she taught them how to cook an astounding range of unfamiliar Chinese regional dishes on their television sets, in ways their own mothers and grandmothers never could. As her fame grew, Fu and her cookbooks traveled beyond the borders of Taiwan, teaching the rest of the world how to cook Chinese food. Fu’s story offers a way to examine a much more personal and intimate set of concerns about food, family, gender roles, and cultural identity. This is not a story of timeless tradition, but of modern transformation—of self and family, of cuisine and society.

FZ-272068-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsBruce Jay WeberAmerican Novelist E.L. Doctorow (1931-2015): A Writing Life9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00BruceJayWeber    OrientNY11957-1395USA2020American LiteraturePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a biography of American author E. L. Doctorow (1931-2015).

The first definitive biography of the celebrated American novelist E.L. Doctorow, author of "The Book of Daniel," "Ragtime," "Loon Lake," "World's Fair," "Billy Bathgate," "The March," "Homer & Langley" and a dozen other books.

FZ-272105-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsMaria Hsiuya LohLiquid Sky: Representations of the Early Modern Sky8/1/2021 - 7/31/2022$60,000.00MariaHsiuyaLoh   CUNY Research Foundation, Hunter CollegeNew YorkNY10065-5024USA2020Art History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Preparation of a book on the renderings and multiple meanings of the sky in European painting from the 14th to 16th centuries.

What did curious individuals see when they turned their eyes to the skies in a distant age before aeronautics and atmospheric physics, before the nine planets and their numerous moons were named, before the discovery of electricity and the invention of photography, and before heliocentrism and the spots on the moon were accepted as givens? How did early modern poets, theologians, and--above all--visual artists articulate their sense of wonder, hope, and anxiety before the ineffable spectacle of the celestial dome? Rather than focusing on the scientific sky of astronomers and physicists to come, Liquid Sky will explore the abstract, puzzling, and volatile sky--at once beautiful and devastating--in the period between Dante’s imagining of paradise and Galileo’s portrait of starry messengers. The project will consider the sky: as chaos and dialectic; as an extension of the artist’s palette; as a cause for wonder and for anxiety; as chromatic instability; and as a marker of time.

FZ-272129-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsSamantha BarbasNew York Times v. Sullivan: The Landmark Case that Shaped Politics and the Press As We Know It1/1/2021 - 8/31/2021$30,000.00Samantha Barbas   SUNY Research Foundation, University at BuffaloAmherstNY14228-2577USA2020Legal HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs300000300000

Writing a book presenting a comprehensive history of the Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan (1964), which established the current legal standard of libel against public officials.

In 1964 the Supreme Court decided New York Times v. Sullivan, holding that public officials cannot recover for libel unless they show “reckless disregard of the truth.” This requirement makes it near-impossible to win a libel suit. As a result, American libel law is the most protective of speech and least protective of reputation in the world. Sullivan is considered one of the great constitutional law opinions and the cornerstone of modern First Amendment law. Despite this, there has been little in-depth writing on it. This work presents the first comprehensive history of Sullivan. It takes the unorthodox position that the decision was not a clear civil liberties triumph but the product of institutional missteps–by the Times, the press, and the Supreme Court – that led to mixed consequences in the long term. Through a history of the case and its consequences, the work invites readers to consider whether revisions to the law may be necessary to protect free speech and civility.

FZ-272133-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsAvis Ann BermanA Biography of American Artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997)9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00AvisAnnBerman    New YorkNY10128-6825USA2020Art History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Preparation of a biography of American painter Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997).

My project is the first biography of Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), one of the originators of Pop Art. Inspired by comic strips and advertisements, Lichtenstein’s punchy graphic style celebrated yet debunked the glorious dumbness of American things. He altered the course of modern art and how we see the world around us. No existing publication looks deeply into Lichtenstein's life and then consistently connects it with his work. An intelligently researched and elucidated biography, written in language accessible to the general reader, is needed to introduce new facts that will reveal the artist's early years of protracted struggle that lie below the myth of his supposedly facile fame. I will also portray Lichtenstein as a figure firmly in his time, experiencing situations common to other Americans by documenting his ancestors’ immigration and assimilation, his combat experience in World War II, his career as a teacher, and his role as a husband, father, and public man.

FZ-272140-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsBrooke Lindy BlowerAmerican World Wars: Intimate Histories from the Crash of the Yankee Clipper7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022$60,000.00BrookeLindyBlower   Boston UniversityBostonMA02215-1300USA2020U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Completion of a book on the cultural, social, and political dimensions of World War II as seen through the lives of seven passengers aboard the Pan American Airways  Yankee Clipper when it crashed in 1943.

Combat GIs dominate studies of Americans abroad during World War II. But they constituted only a fraction of the millions of Americans stationed on six continents, in and out of uniform, during the global crisis. "American World Wars" tells a panoramic story of seven worldly noncombatants, their personal histories, their politics, and the paths that led them to all board the same Pan Am boat plane bound for Lisbon in February 1943. When the Yankee Clipper crashed in the Tagus River, it took five of their lives but left a paper trail that leads to a richer, deeper understanding of the cross-cutting political and ideological dimensions of Americans' war efforts.

FZ-272163-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsHeghnar Watenpaugh, PhDCity of 1001 Churches: Architecture, Destruction, and Preservation at a World Heritage Site7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022$60,000.00Heghnar Watenpaugh   Regents of the University of California, DavisDavisCA95618-6153USA2020Art History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on Ani, a medieval Armenian ghost city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

My book project tells the global history of a place: the medieval ghost city of Ani, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the border between Armenia and Turkey. Its ruins, celebrated as masterpieces of world architecture, have long been endangered. Over the last 150 years, Ani has been excavated and preserved by imperial powers, looted and destroyed by a nation-state during genocide, and recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ani’s past of violence and destruction as well as its present as a focus of global cultural heritage raise critical questions about human rights and culture, the cultural rights of persecuted groups, and contemporary global heritage. The book aims at weaving these questions into a readable narrative of the ghost city that features the captivating personalities of the creators of its astonishing architecture, archaeologists, pilgrims, vandals, cultural heritage professionals and activists, as well as poets and artists – all drawn to this crossroads of history.

FZ-272181-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsKimberly Chrisman-CampbellA Biography of American Fashion Designer Chester Weinberg (1930-1985)9/1/2020 - 5/31/2021$45,000.00Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell    GlendaleCA91208-1505USA2020Arts, OtherPublic ScholarsResearch Programs450000450000

Research and writing leading to a biography of American fashion designer Chester Weinberg (1930 – 1985).

This research constitutes the first scholarly study of the life and work of American fashion designer Chester Weinberg. A household name in the 1960s and 70s, Weinberg worked with seminal models, illustrators, photographers, and editors. He dressed socialites and celebrities in daring yet elegant clothes that remain collectible today. His radically minimalist homes and studios showcased his bold taste in contemporary art and interior design. Weinberg successfully overcame anti-Semitism and navigated changing social mores as well as changing hemlines, evolving from closeted homosexual to gay liberation activist. He embraced feminism, and he was among the first New York designers to employ African-American models. He established American sportswear as a serious rival to Parisian couture and trained many of today's leading designers. Personally and professionally, Weinberg embodied the evolution of Seventh Avenue. However, the stigma of his AIDS-related death has overshadowed his legacy.

FZ-272198-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsMary Lynne MurphySmall Words: What Words Such as "Be," "The," "Not," and "If" Reveal About Human Minds and Cultures9/1/2020 - 5/31/2021$30,000.00MaryLynneMurphy   University of SussexBrighton BN1 9QNEngland2020LinguisticsPublic ScholarsResearch Programs300000300000

Completion of a book on the historical function and development of the English language's small words and what such words reveal about their speakers. 

Books about words often concentrate on the dialectal gems, the lost lexicons, the rare and peculiar species of the linguistic world. Our most common words are given scant attention, mumbled in speech and glossed over in reading. We notice the weighty nouns, verbs and adjectives, but miss the slippery mortar holding them together: 'be', 'the', 'not', 'if', 'and', ‘of’, ‘it’. But poke those small words, and each opens up a world of discovery into human minds and cultures. Take ‘the’, as just one example. How can it be the most frequent word in written English, when many of the world’s languages have no need of an equivalent? Why does it cause trouble for Bible translators? Why does it feel different when an American speaks of ‘the Mexicans’ rather than ‘Mexicans’? Why do English writers use it less each year? This book synthesizes research from across the humanities and social sciences, allowing the small words to tell stories about what it is to speak English and what it is to be human.

FZ-272211-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsRachel KousserThe Last Years of Alexander the Great (330-323 BCE)6/1/2021 - 5/31/2022$60,000.00Rachel Kousser   CUNY Research Foundation, Graduate School and University CenterNew YorkNY10016-4309USA2020Classical HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the final years of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE).

The Last Years of Alexander the Great (330-323 BCE) uses the story of the Macedonian king's neglected late career to convey a new, accessible narrative about the conquest of the Persian Empire as experienced by the conquered. It departs from previous biographies, more focused on Alexander's early successes and on the Greco-Roman literary sources, and examines instead his years of struggle in Afghanistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, and Iran, as he faced external rebellions and internal conspiracies in a brutal, unforgiving landscape. It also uses archaeological evidence—the concrete and vivid material traces of Alexander's journey—to complement and counter the elite ancient writers who give us only a classical perspective on his achievements, never a Persian one. In doing so, the book reframes the history of the first European empire in the Middle East.

FZ-272244-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsVincent Cannato, PhDPowerhouse: Francis Cardinal Spellman (1889-1967) and America's Catholic Cold War1/1/2021 - 12/31/2021$60,000.00Vincent Cannato   University of Massachusetts, BostonBostonMA02125-3300USA2020U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a biography of Archbishop Francis Cardinal Spellman (1889–1967) and his influence on religion, politics, and American life.

This book project is a political biography of Francis Cardinal Spellman, who served as New York's Catholic Archbishop from 1939 to 1967. Spellman was the most powerful American Catholic figure in the nation’s history and a leading international figure during World War Two and the Cold War. His life was filled with controversy and intrigue, and his influence was felt from Rome to Washington, Wall Street to Hollywood and across American military bases and wartime battlegrounds around the world.

FZ-272289-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsDavid PettegrewThe Archaeology of the Early Christian World: History, Methods, Evidence1/1/2021 - 12/31/2021$60,000.00David Pettegrew   Messiah CollegeMechanicsburgPA17055-6706USA2020ArchaeologyPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing for a book on the archaeological history of Early Christianity.

This project explains how archaeological approaches, practices, and evidence shape historical interpretations of the early Christian world. Scholars have often viewed archaeology as a tool for generating extraordinary discoveries to authenticate, challenge, or illustrate the histories and theologies of the early church. This work considers how the more common but less spectacular findings of archaeological field research, including ceramic assemblages, stratified deposits, and surface remains, are gradually changing our picture of the social and economic life of Christian communities of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East between the first and seventh centuries CE. In its emphasis on processes and practices, the book fills a gap in Anglophone scholarship for a critical explanation of the archaeology of this world religion and an accessible introduction to a subject often sensationalized in popular media.

FZ-272292-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsGuy Placido RaffaDante's American Afterlife9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00GuyPlacidoRaffa   University of Texas, AustinAustinTX78712-0100USA2020Italian LiteraturePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the influence of Italian poet Dante Alighieri (d. 1321) on American culture. 

This is the first public-oriented book entirely committed to the story of Dante’s American afterlife. It shows the deep and broad impact of the poet’s most famous afterworld on American culture as we approach the 700th anniversary of his death (2021). The consummate crossover work, Dante’s Inferno has sparked creative minds across the cultural spectrum, from Longfellow’s Civil War writings and Harry Lachman’s depression-era Inferno film to Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men TV series and popular fiction by Sylvain Reynard and Dan Brown. The book’s four parts examine the history and meaning of these and other works through the lens of Dante’s main American roles: citizen, showman, lover, and judge. The book’s brightest threads are the dangerous allure and ethical teaching of the Inferno that, often entwined, encourage and characterize responses to the poem. I enliven the prose with insights drawn from archival research and my involvement with the video game that featured my Inferno commentary.

FZ-272316-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsGregory E. O'Malley, PhDThe Escapes of David George (1743-1810): An Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom in the Revolutionary Era7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022$60,000.00GregoryE.O'Malley   Regents of the University of California, Santa CruzSanta CruzCA95064-1077USA2020U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a biography of David George (1743-1810), who was born a slave and whose pursuit of freedom intersects with major events of the Revolutionary Era.

The Escapes of David George offers a biography of a man born enslaved in Virginia, who ran away repeatedly—to backcountry settlements, to Native American communities, and finally to the British Army during the Revolutionary War. As a refugee, he then moved to Nova Scotia and finally to the British colony of Sierra Leone for emancipated slaves. Since George’s life spanned the revolutionary era, his story offers a counterpoint to the many biographies of America’s white founders. Instead of typical narratives about political freedom from British monarchy, George’s life presents a parallel quest for freedom from American slavery. To achieve his own independence, George fled the U.S. at its creation. As the NEH looks toward the 250th anniversary of American independence, David George offers a vantage point on the lines of exclusion that limited liberty in the new nation, while also providing an inspiring story of an enslaved man’s quest for the ideal that “all men are created equal.”

FZ-272347-20Research Programs: Public ScholarsIan Denis JohnsonSparks: Writing China's Unofficial History9/1/2020 - 8/31/2021$60,000.00IanDenisJohnson    Germany  Germany2020East Asian HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing leading to a book on how dissident writers, filmmakers, academics, and others in China work to document events suppressed in the official national history promoted by the Chinese Communist Party.

In China, few issues are as sensitive as history, which the Communist Party sees as the basis of its legitimacy--history, in its telling, chose it to lead China, resulting in today's rising superpower. But a group of persistent skeptics--professors, writers, and filmmakers--challenge this, much as groups like Memorial in the Soviet Union helped dig up the past and undermine one-party rule. In China, they document massacres, famines, and labor camps, using digital technologies to make documentary films, books, and samizdat magazines. Over the past decade, the Party has ushered in tight political control. And yet a core group inside China keeps at it, convinced it is their duty to document their country's history, and that one day—even if far off in the future--they will spark an awakening. Using carefully documented interviews and observations drawn from years of field work, I will use techniques of narrative non-fiction to show them evade police and censors to keep the past alive.

FZ-279701-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsSamuel M. LebovicA History of the Espionage Act1/1/2022 - 12/31/2022$60,000.00SamuelM.Lebovic   George Mason UniversityFairfaxVA22030-4444USA2021U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the history of the Espionage Act (1917-present).

This book will provide the first history of the Espionage Act over the course of its life, using the century-long evolution of this controversial law to explore the challenges that state secrecy poses to democratic life. Based on new research, it argues that the institutional and legal apparatus for securing national security secrets emerged in a piecemeal, improvised fashion over the course of many decades. In a narrative that unfolds through infamous espionage trials, paranoia about foreign infiltration, scandalous abuses by the national security state, and controversial leaks and whistleblowers, the book shows that history has bequeathed to us a broken secrecy regime, one that classifies too much information, with serious consequences for democratic accountability, public discourse, and the freedom of the press.

FZ-279952-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsLance RichardsonA Biography of the American Writer and Naturalist Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014)9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022$60,000.00Lance Richardson    PhiladelphiaPA19146-1714USA2021American LiteraturePublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

A biography of American writer and naturalist Peter Matthiessen (1927–2014).

True Nature will be the first comprehensive biography of the American writer, naturalist, and Zen roshi, Peter Matthiessen. A member of what William Styron once called “the silent generation”—a cohort that also included Truman Capote and Norman Mailer—Matthiessen has not received the same critical attention as many of his peers despite the scope of his achievements. In an extraordinarily diverse career, he wrangled with many of the most critical issues of the last century, from environmental degradation to civil rights. Though a novelist at heart, he wrote one of the earliest works of the modern environmental movement and major examples of advocacy journalism concerning Cesar Chavez and Native Americans. He was also co-founder of The Paris Review while undercover for the CIA. True Nature documents his lifelong journey (his “pilgrimage”) to illustrate the evolution of a sensibility—a kind of ecological consciousness that combined science and spirituality, empiricism and intuition.

FZ-279968-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsRobin BernsteinThe Trials of William Freeman (1824-1847): A Story of Murder, Race, and America's First Industrial Prison9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022$60,000.00Robin Bernstein   President and Fellows of Harvard CollegeCambridgeMA02138-3800USA2021American StudiesPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

A history of incarceration in Auburn, New York through the story of William Freeman, convicted of a quadruple murder in 1846.

My book is a narrative history, based in archival research and intended for general readers, of a quadruple murder that occurred in 1846 in New York State. I use this event to revise the stories we tell about the origins of prison for profit—and subsequently the roots of anti-Black racism. Well-known scholars argue that the American prison industry developed as a Southern effort to re-install slavery after the Civil War. In contrast, I show how the antebellum North originated for-profit convict labor (a fact that previous scholars acknowledge but have not communicated effectively to the public). This fact matters because the Northern mode of convict labor led to distinctive forms of racism: ones based in liberal reform, modern manufacturing, and even abolitionism. By narrating the life of one Black man, his family, and his city, my book restores the antebellum North to the stories we tell about profit-driven incarceration and racism—thus changing what we know about each.

FZ-280011-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsAudrey TruschkeIndian Pasts (A History of India)9/1/2022 - 8/31/2023$60,000.00Audrey Truschke   Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, NewarkNewarkNJ07104-3010USA2021South Asian HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the history of South Asia from 2600 BCE to the early 2020s, highlighting India's dynamic religious and cultural changes.

I propose to write a single volume history of India that spans 4,600 years of known human history on the subcontinent. The book will proceed roughly chronologically, covering some of the major social, political, religious, intellectual, and cultural developments in ancient, early modern, colonial, and independent South Asia. Several threads will tie the book together, including religious and political innovations, ecological change, an astonishing diversity of peoples and experiences, and connections between South Asia and other parts of the world. My goal is to change how people view India. I want them to see, not an inert place that stands out of time, but rather a dynamic, vibrant part of the history of human advancement, achievement, and change.

FZ-280013-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsDavid M. LubinReady for My Closeup: A Biography of "Sunset Boulevard"1/1/2022 - 12/31/2022$60,000.00DavidM.Lubin   Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemNC27109-6000USA2021Film History and CriticismPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the background, making, and legacy of the movie Sunset Boulevard (1950).

Influential films, like influential people, deserve their own biographies, and few films have been as influential as Sunset Boulevard (1950). Charting the movie's origins, making, and legacy, this will be the first book to examine in depth the cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance of a remarkable motion picture about human vanity and fear of aging. Director Billy Wilder, an Austrian-Jewish émigré to Hollywood, brought his cynical, Old World sensibility to the project, but its greatness can’t be laid exclusively at his feet, for his artistic collaborators were also at the peak of their creative powers. Relying on letters, diaries, published and unpublished papers, interviews with surviving family members, and extensive viewing of the films these Hollywood professionals made both before and after Sunset Boulevard, this book will show how a dark and bitter self-examination of the American film industry became one of that industry's crowning achievements.

FZ-280015-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsHenry D. FetterThe Nomination of Louis D. Brandeis to the Supreme Court in 1916: The First " Modern" Confirmation Battle9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022$60,000.00HenryD.Fetter    Los AngelesCA90068-2208USA2021Legal HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the 1916 nomination of Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941) to the United States Supreme Court.

My subject is the nomination (by President Woodrow Wilson) and confirmation in 1916 – after a four month long battle against some of the most powerful forces in American politics, business and law – of Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941), the celebrated “People’s Attorney” and first Jewish Justice, to the Supreme Court. This is not only a dramatic story worth telling in its own right but, with hindsight, we can see that it was the first “modern’ Supreme Court confirmation battle, featuring protracted Senate hearings, a concerted attack on Brandeis’s character and ethics, and a heated public debate about the nominee’s political beliefs and fitness for a Court seat, with much of the opposition, Brandeis believed, due to antisemitism. Nominations to the Supreme Court have recently been, and will surely remain, a source of partisan controversy. My book can provide timely perspective on recent and future confirmation battles, as well as on the changing role of the Court over the past century.

FZ-280020-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsKarl JacobyThe War with Mexico and the Birth of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1846-19249/1/2021 - 5/31/2022$45,000.00Karl Jacoby   Columbia UniversityNew YorkNY10027-7922USA2021Latino HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs450000450000

Research and writing of a history of the Mexican-American War and its aftermath, 1846-1924.

My project reassesses the War with Mexico, with particular attention to the conflict's legacies for Indigenous peoples, ethnic Mexicans, and the creation of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is designed to be published in 2023, to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

FZ-280031-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsMiriam UdelChildren's Literature and Modern Jewish Culture9/1/2021 - 8/31/2022$60,000.00Miriam Udel   Emory UniversityAtlantaGA30322-1018USA2021Jewish StudiesPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Writing a book examining Jewish identity as constructed in Yiddish-language children’s literature. 

“Umbrella Sky: Children’s Literature and Modern Jewish Worldmaking” takes the aesthetically rich and historically indispensable corpus of nearly a thousand extant Yiddish children's books as a novel vantage point from which to observe key movements—political and geospatial—of Eastern European Jewry during the tumultuous early decades of the twentieth century. I extend theoretical reframings of childhood into the Yiddish-speaking sphere, foregrounding the role of children’s literature in the intertwined cultural renaissance and quest for social justice that animated secularist, interwar Jewish life. This project integrates a range of concerns, including a changing understanding of gender norms, child psychology, class consciousness and struggle, and the pursuit of racial justice. Focusing on broadly resonant motifs, themes, and nodes, this accessible book probes how writers and cultural leaders negotiated the tensions between traditional and emerging forms of Jewish identity.

FZ-280044-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsCarolyn Eileen EastmanA Plague in New York City: How the City Confronted--and Survived--the Yellow Fever Epidemic in the Founding Era7/1/2022 - 6/30/2023$60,000.00CarolynEileenEastman   Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondVA23284-9005USA2021U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs600000600000

Research and writing of a book on the yellow fever epidemics of 1795 and 1798 in New York City, emphasizing the experience of doctors and other caregivers, including African Americans. 

This book scrutinizes the yellow fever epidemics that devastated New York during 1795 and 1798 by placing at its center the frontline medical and care workers who sought to help the sick. Building my research outward from the extraordinary diary of a young doctor who worked at Bellevue Hospital during both epidemics, I have reconstructed the lives of Black nurses both at Bellevue and in private practice, doctors and other medical workers who flooded in to the city from neighboring regions to help, and how all of these individuals rebuilt their lives and the city after each epidemic passed. Above all, I seek to make sense of this disease by focusing on the people who experienced it, particularly by tracing how it altered a political, urban, and medical environment, and how it changed a city and a generation.

FZ-280052-21Research Programs: Public ScholarsCassandra Alexis GoodFirst Family: George Washington’s Heirs and the Making of America1/1/2022 - 6/30/2022$30,000.00CassandraAlexisGood   Marymount UniversityArlingtonVA22207-4299USA2021U.S. HistoryPublic ScholarsResearch Programs300000300000

Research and writing of a history of the heirs of George and Martha Washington between the American Revolution and the Civil War.

George Washington was more than the nation’s father; he was a surrogate father for Martha’s four grandchildren via her first marriage. The Custis grandchildren led remarkable lives that paralleled America’s story in its first century: military triumph and tragedy; democracy and old aristocratic ties; visions of liberty alongside the horrors of slavery. With lives stretching from the American Revolution to the eve of the Civil War, the Custises were celebrated figures that used George Washington’s legacy to weigh in on the nation’s political struggles. They deployed their ties to Washington as a source of power, both socially and politically. The Custises also put in conscious efforts to shape themselves as George Washington’s heirs, despite their lack of blood ties to him, revealing the ways family was constructed rather than natural. Their remarkable story offers new perspectives on the meaning of family and its role in American political life.